Sister M. Theresa (Oralia) Mendez, a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis, died Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at the age of 77.
The rosary will be prayed for Sister at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, November 20, in St. Theresa’s Church in Panhandle. Mass will be celebrated at 4:00 PM on Thursday, November 21, in St. Theresa’s Church in Panhandle with Bishop Patrick Zurek and Father Hrudaya Raju Kondamudi, as celebrants. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home, 4100 S. Georgia, in Amarillo, and burial will be in Panhandle Cemetery.
Sister M. Theresa was born Oralia Razo Mendez on August 5, 1942, in Rowena, Texas. She was born to David and Fidela Mendez. She is preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Vincent and Angel. Sister is survived by four brothers, David Mendez, Jr., Edward Mendez, Raymond Mendez, and Antonio Mendez; three sisters, Annie Ramirez, Cris Moreno, and Elsa Domzalski; an aunt and uncle, Frank and Maria Duenas, an uncle Victor Carasez, and several nieces and nephews.
She entered the Congregation of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Panhandle, TX, on November 20, 1961 at the age of 19. Oralia received the name of Sister M. Theresa after Saint Therese of Lisieux when she became a novice. Sister Theresa celebrated her 50th Jubilee on July 14, 2014.
She received an Associate in Applied Science degree specializing in Early Childhood Education. She cared for children and young people in the Catholic Children’s Home in Panhandle from 1964 to 1988. She served as a pre-school teacher’s aide at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Pampa and a library aide at St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Dalhart. Sister Theresa lived at the convent at St. Joseph’s in Amarillo for a period of time. She performed various house duties at the Regional House in Panhandle for many years.
Sister was adept at gardening, needlework, making cord rosaries, and Scherenschnitte, which is the art of paper cutting. She was a proud member of the ACTS community in Amarillo.